Have one of those weeks where it seems like whatever can go wrong does? What do we do? Where to we turn?
Lord, when doubts fill my mind,
when my heart is in turmoil,
quiet me and give me
renewed hope and cheer.
Psalm 94:19 TLB
Yes, the only place to flee is into the arms of the Lord. But, you say, that’s so hard! Yes, I know. That’s usually my experience and I try to escape some other way, but running away, even mentally, doesn’t work. Escapism is like chewing gum when we’re hungry: it gives us something in our mouths and some flavor but it doesn’t fill us. Only the Lord’s peace can calm our souls when our world is crashing around us and we don’t know which way to go.
Let’s see what Jesus says we should do in such trying situations: “Don’t let this throw you. You trust God, don’t you? Trust me.” (John 14:1 MSG[i]) A little later in John 16:33 (Amplified Bible) we read: “I have told you these things, so that in Me you may have [perfect] peace and confidence. In the world you have tribulation and trials and distress and frustration; but be of good cheer [take courage; be confident, certain, undaunted]! For I have overcome the world. [I have deprived it of power to harm you and have conquered it for you.]”
What is our assignment then? We must decide if we will allow our faith or our fear and doubt to be stronger. Yes, we may have no problem believing that we’ll go to heaven when we die, but how strong is our faith for the tough places on earth? Is it strong enough to truly believe God’s Word? That’s where my struggle often comes. Am I fully confident that God will do for me what He says He will in the Bible? Satan always tries to make us doubt our loving Father because our enemy can’t keep us from heaven but he certainly tries to keep us from having the peace of heaven here on earth.
The Word of God gives us a good answer to Satan’s mind games, and often we quote it as Greater is He who is in you than he who is in the world” (1 John 4:4 King James). Sometimes, however, it’s helpful to see that verse in a different way, such as The Message Bible: My dear children, you come from God and belong to God. You have already won a big victory over those false teachers, for the Spirit in you is far stronger than anything in the world.
Yes, when problems pour in from everywhere, we must stand our ground and rely on the One who lives in us to give us the calm and peace we need.
[i] THE MESSAGE: The Bible in Contemporary Language © 2002 by Eugene H. Peterson. All rights reserved.